Odds are good that you’re already giving Amazon a lot of money. You’re not alone—the appeal of shopping for everything from cat food to cameras without leaving your couch is too strong. You don’t have to stop shopping on Amazon anytime soon, but there are plenty of things you can do to make your money go a little further. These simple shopping hacks can save you money and time.
1. Sign Up for Amazon Prime
If you use Amazon regularly, the cost of your annual membership will be quickly covered by how much you save with free shipping on almost everything you buy.
But a Prime membership doesn’t just save you money on shipping. It comes with all sorts of other benefits—many of the other tips in this post are advantages of having a Prime membership.
Normally, Prime memberships run about $100 a year. But if you’re a student, you can get a membership for half that.
2. Try Amazon’s Subscribe and Save
There are some things you have to buy every few weeks or months. Why spend extra on something as boring as paper towels? Instead, try Amazon’s subscribe and save option. You get automatic deliveries of the things you always need, and you pay less than you would if you made a one-time purchase.
3. Check for Daily Deals
You can save a lot of money on items in the “Today’s Deals” section of Amazon’s site. Check it before you buy something. There’s a chance you’ll find what you want at a steep discount.
4. Look into Prime Pantry
Sometimes shopping is fun, and sometimes you’re just buying stuff you need around the house. Prime Pantry makes shopping for things like beauty products, cleaning supplies, and pet care items a little easier. Goods that would normally be too expensive to ship alone can be grouped together in one shipment. The shipping rate is a flat $5.99 no matter how much you buy (as long as it fits in the box—boxes can hold up to 45 pounds). Plus, there are weekly deals, exclusive coupons, and significant discounts for lots of Prime Pantry products.
5. Choose Free No-Rush Shipping
If you’ve got a Prime membership, you get free two-day shipping on almost everything. But if you aren’t in a hurry, you can actually save money by being a little patient. When you choose free no-rush shipping, you can get account credits for certain kinds of items. Amazon offers credits for things like digital movies, Kindle e-books, music downloads, and Prime Pantry products.
6. Clip Some Amazon Coupons
Clipping coupons doesn’t have to be tedious. In fact, with Amazon, you don’t even have to leave the site. Visit the coupon page, and then click to “clip” the coupons you want and add those items to your cart. The discounts will be automatically applied when you check out.
7. Watch Deal Tracker Websites
Amazon prices change often. Sites like camelcamelcamel.com track the history of prices on Amazon. This makes it easier to see which purchases are bargains and which are not. You might find that the product you want is usually cheaper, or you might realize that the current price is a great deal. Either way, you’re making a more informed decision when you buy.
8. Check Your Prime Perks Before You Buy Content
A Prime membership comes with access to lots of content. For example, you can watch tons of popular movies and TV shows without paying anything extra. Next time you think about buying a new movie, check the Prime catalog first—you might find it there.
9. Look for Certified Refurbished Products
If you don’t have your heart set on getting something brand new, check out Amazon’s certified refurbished section. You can get tablets, cameras, and other cool tech at discounted prices.
10. Take Advantage of Free Content
Amazon might be a shopping site, but there are actually a lot of free products. This is particularly true if you like reading the classics. There are plenty of Kindle e-books that you can add to your library for free. Boost your literary cred while saving money!
11. Check the Amazon Outlet
Amazon Outlet may not have the most in-demand items, but you can get huge discounts on cool stuff that has been marked down or overstocked.
12. Browse the Amazon Warehouse
You can also get great deals through the Amazon Warehouse. If you’re okay with something that has been opened or gently used, you can save money on everything from TVs to vacuum cleaners.
13. Consider the Amazon.com Store Card
The Amazon.com Store Card helps you spread the cost of big-ticket items out over time. You can get 6-, 12-, or 24-month financing offers with a card that doesn’t have an annual fee. If you pay off your item in full within the designated time period, you won’t have to pay interest on your purchase. If you choose this option, be sure to pay the card off in time—if you don’t, you’ll be charged interest from the initial purchase date. Cardholders also get 5% back on Amazon.com purchases. As long as you use your card responsibly, you can ease the burden of large purchases and get money back.
14. Try the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card
If you’re interested in a credit card that you can use for more than Amazon purchases, the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card might be right for you. You get a $50 Amazon gift card upon credit approval; 3% back on Amazon.com purchases; 2% back on restaurant, gas station, and drugstore purchases; and 1% back on every other purchase.
However, be sure to check the credit requirements of the card before you apply. Credit card applications can ding your credit, so you want to be sure you’ll qualify. Take a look at your credit report card for free through Credit.com.
Save a little cash with these Amazon shopping tips so you can get what you want and need without going over your budget. And for general finance advice, check out Credit.com’s Personal Finance Learning Center.